Did you know that all browsers allow for the ability to right click any PDF file link and choose the option to open the file in a browser window or to save the file to your hard drive? By default, most browsers will open PDF files in a browser, however users can control how they would like to treat PDF files. Here’s the link to an article that gives step by step instructions on how to change the settings on different browsers. Change download settings
Getting your website to secure a spot in the top ten of an organic search result is the first step towards reaching your online marketing and sales goals. Those who are king in the SEO world, use all sorts of complicated and expensive techniques to hold a spot at the top of the page. However, there are simpler and more economical solutions for the business owner who is trying to capture their local online market niche. The screen shot below shows the basic anatomy of a search engine result using the keywords Website Design Boston North Shore – a phrase that potential customers might use to find my services.
If using WordPress as a website platform the process is fairly easy.
- Simply install the All-In-One-SEO-Pack as a new plug-in.
- Establish a list of 3 and 4 word keyword phrases that a potential customer might plug into a search box to find the products and services that your business offers. Keep in mind, that geographic location plays a large role in reaching your local market.
- The “free” version of the SEO plugin allows users to customize the areas of a website that are most important in SEO optimization. The page titles, page descriptions and keywords can easily be defined on every page and post on a WordPress website. The screen shot below illustrates one view of how easy it is to optimize a website using keywords.
- Take it one step further and include the same keyword combinations in page headers and content, and your website is sure to make its way to the top of search engine results in your local market.
WordPress is the most widely used content management system (CMS) in the industry. The platform was originally introduced as a blogging tool but, because of its popularity, it has morphed into much more. WordPress is a free, open source platform but, the fact that it allows users to create, manage and publish content in a highly stylized and interactive format makes it priceless.
Among its many perks, WordPress has hundreds of compatible plugins that add functionality to a website. From photo galleries, to ecommerce solutions to SEO performance, WordPress is a viable web solution for most any business or organization.
Here are five plugins that are must-haves for all websites in 2016.
All in One SEO Pack is a WordPress SEO plugin that automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines such as Google. This popular plugin allows users to set keyword settings, title settings, no-index settings and webmaster verification settings.
Some level of social media participation is a must for all business today, and it is equally important to offer visitors the opportunity to easily share information from your website on their own social media pages. The AddToAny plugin offers sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, WhatsApp and many more.
We’ve all suffered the horror of losing precious information. Updraft Plus is a backup and restoration tool that is easy to install and set up. The plugin offers complete backups; manual or scheduled to S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email and more.
The Wordfence WordPress security plugin provides free enterprise-class WordPress security, protecting your website from hacks and malware. Wordfence starts by checking if a site is already infected. It performs a server side scan of source code and then secures it and makes it 50 times faster.
This plugin displays Google Analytics reports in the WordPress Dashboard. It also inserts the latest Google Analytics tracking code in your pages. Tracking made simple.
Every day is a holiday – just look at “What’s Trending” on Twitter for proof … top trend today is #pancakeday! While some of the national days we observe may seem silly, they do offer business owners a marketing opportunity that can be capitalized on.
These holidays give us something to talk about when the conversation might otherwise be stale. Celebratory days help social media in three specific ways:
- Prompt fresh ideas
- Create buzz
- Improve SEO by nature
As Valentine’s Day approaches and we march forward into 2016, I thought it appropriate to publish a list of other recognized days on tap for the year as it may come in handy for social media campaigns. Thankfully I have a 15 year old daughter who is well on top of notable events such as No Shave November.
14. Valentine’s Day
15. President’s Day
29. Leap Day
13. Daylight Savings
17. St. Patrick’s Day
21. First Day of Spring
27. Easter Sunday
1. April Fool’s Day
10. National Sibling Day
18. Patriot’s Day
22. Earth Day
5. Cinco De Mayo
7. Kentucky Derby
8. Mother’s Day
30. Memorial Day
National Running Day (first Wednesday)
14. National Flag Day
19. Father’s Day
20. First Day of Summer
4. Independence Day
11. National All American Pet Photo Day
15. National Give Something Away Day
25. Christmas in July
1. National Girlfriends Day
8. National Dollar Day
15. National V-J Day
21. National Senior Citizen’s Day
5. Labor Day
11. Grandparents Day
22. First Day of Autumn
29. National Coffee Day
6. National Mad Hatter Day
10. Columbus Day
21. National Mammography Day
10. Marine Corp Birthday
Thanksgiving Day – Last Thursday
Black Friday – Friday after Thanksgiving
Cyber Monday – Monday after Thanksgiving
22. First Day of Winter
25. Christmas Day
26. Boxing Day
31 New Year’s Eve
It used to be common place for companies to have what could best be described as a “Business Card” website – a single web page that provided visitors with basic contact information. These websites served businesses well when the internet was young and the competition was slim. One-page websites have made a comeback over the past several years but, like the internet itself, they have evolved to look and behave vastly different than their predecessors.
Today’s one-page sites are sleek and dynamic, showcasing all the important aspects of a business on a single page and begging for a call-to-action. Rather than navigating between pages, visitors are bounced vertically around a single page that deliciously showcases the products and services offered. These pages can be visually stunning and perfectly suited for mobile platforms where simple navigation rules.
Any business without a web presence today is isolating themselves from a huge segment of their market niche. A simple one-page website might do the trick and, with the bones in place, the website could easy morph into something more as the business grows.
Here are the links to two websites that are rocking one page. While they both happen to be in the hospitality industry, one-page websites are suitable for any business particularly if they have lesser content to share.
While considering business goals for 2016, the popular quote “A Goal without a Plan is just a Wish” struck a chord, and prompted me to define some tangible marketing and sales goals. My business resolution for the year is to get in front of at least one potential new client each week. Past experience tells me that this should about yield 12 new clients a year. It does beg the question, from where shall I get the new leads? I have a plan for that as well.
- A business networking group, such as BNI, is a terrific referral source for small business owners. Since I already belong to the North Shore Networker’s in Topsfield, I plan to make better use of my 60 second commercials and one on one opportunities to get to know, like and trust my fellow members. The group is essentially my “sales force” and it is my job to educate them about my products and services so that they might point referrals my way.
- In 2012, I vowed to publish a new blog post each week. I have been pretty diligent about that and the effort has helped to grow my business and solidify my reputation as an authority in my field. While I typically cross promoted my blog posts using LinkedIn updates, I have found that using the site’s publishing tool is more effective. The difference between posting an update and publishing on LinkedIn essentially relates to the originality of the content, and whether or not the article is worthy of being posted in its entirety. In contrast, the simple sharing of a link or a thought would be an appropriate “update”. I will continue to put effort into composing original pieces to publish both on LinkedIn and on my web log.
- Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is not dead. My clients have great success with well planned email marketing campaigns. In fact, a Danvers Day Spa client of mine generated $10,000 in sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a campaign that was primarily email driven. I plan to create a series of email blasts targeting both existing customers, former clients and those who previously inquired about my services. I will likely focus on the must-do’s in online marketing today such as the benefits of a CMS platform like WordPress and the importance of mobile responsiveness.
- I often preach that it is not good enough to simply be present on a social media platform. One must actively engage their followers in a valuable conversation in order to reap results. I plan to add Twitter to my to-do list this year. Twitter is like the little black dress in my social media closet! The appetizer bits of information that we share do not take nearly the effort of a blog post and Twitter itself is more user-friendly than ever. I plan to use it to share the “Do’s and Don’ts” in the marketing world, similar to the way that Glamour magazine utilizes this method, which masquerades as an opportunity to share tips of the trade.
With a plan in place it’s time to put it in play!
Do you pay attention to the little icon that displays on Internet browser windows? They are called “Favicons” and their value is multi-fold.
IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE
The primary purpose of the Favicon is to help users, like myself, who work with multiple tabs open on a browser. They help us to easily identify one website from another. Imagine how confusing it would be to toggle between pages without these cute little icons? On that same note, the Favicon helps users identify bookmarked websites.
Favicons have become a part of the branding process much like the avatars that are used on Social Media websites. I spent a considerable amount of time create the graphic below for a hotel client of mine. It will be an important part of the hotel’s branding as we move forward and will show up not only online, but on napkins, signage, stationery and more.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL
Like the Twitter user who doesn’t bother to upload an image but uses the default egghead instead, incorporating a Favicon says something about the business itself. Details are important.
Is your WordPress site under brute force attack?
Last week on my website I had 448 malicious login attempts that were blocked thanks the WordFence plugin. Brute Force Attack with multiple logins is a new form of attack that has website owners concerned about security. It is alarming to see that there are hundreds of login attempts within minutes and if the hacker does get in it, they wreak havoc on a website that sometimes needs to be reconstructed. Wordfence is a free plugin that provides preventative measures to keep a site safe from attacks. The plugin can identify and prevent hackers from breaking in and, in premium versions of the plugin, users can restrict access geographically. Download WordFence now and you’ll feel safer.
Inspiration for color palettes for your business branding can come from many sources. The local environment that is rich in vibrant color may be the impetus for a logo, color style guide or interior decorating. Here’s an example of a beach at sunset that offers a natural color palette for inspiration. There’s is no need to worry about matching – just drop an eyedropper on various parts of the image and the swatches blend as miraculously as they appear in nature.
Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second. – Mattie Stepanek
Choosing the color scheme for a brand is one of the most significant steps in the brand selection process. Colors allow a company to stand out from the competition and evoke emotion. Consider some of the brands whose color schemes are actually embedded in our culture. Can you guess the business names using the color scheme alone?
Color is often underestimated in the design process but a color palette complete with light and dark swatches are intended to enhance a focal point.
A logo is most often a cornerstone in the branding process. The next step is to select a primary and secondary color palette that compliments the logo and the business. The colors selected should suit the business, its goals and its values. The colors must complement each other and contrast is key. I always select Pantone (PMS) colors that and can easily be translated into CMYK, RGB and the web so that they will look the same across varied platforms. The color selection process may seem simple but it can be a tedious process – if the CMYK and PMS colors do not match I will not select the color as it is important in order to ensure consistency in future print projects. An so, I go back to the drawing board.